Monday, October 17, 2011

Why I Love Tonic: Ronald Simons, Weehawken, New Jersey

"I use Tonic to help track a variety of supplements and medications. This is especially useful for me as I am an entrepreneur and operate in a climate of constant scheduling changes for meetings, conference calls and production location visits. I look forward to using Tonic to help keep me on schedule for my weight training and cardio workouts." -- Ronald Simons, Weehawken, New Jersey

Thursday, October 13, 2011

iOS 5 & Tonic

IMPORTANT: If you are updating to iOS 5, to continue receiving reminder notifications from Tonic you must go the Notifications section of the Settings app, and set Notification Center to ON.

One of the major new features of iOS 5 is the Notification Center. This makes it easier to keep track of notifications from different apps, to respond to notifications, and strikes a better balance between notification and interruption. To enjoy all these benefits, you first need to turn it ON.

Here are detailed instructions:

 1. Tap on the Settings app.
 2. Tap on Notifications.
 3. Scroll down ...
 4. ... until you find Tonic in the "Not in Notification Center" section.  Tap on Tonic.
 5. Set Notification Center to ON for Tonic. And then set the various options — be sure to set Alert Style to either Banners or Alerts.
6. You'll notice that Tonic is now in the "In Notification Center" section.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Review: Withings' Blood Pressure Monitor & Bathroom Scale

Paris-based Withings has received rave reviews for their beautiful and easy-to-use connected devices, a blood pressure monitor and a bathroom scale.

And there's a good reason they've gotten such accolades for these two products. I have the blood pressure monitor and it's really simple to use: I just plug it into my iPhone and it's ready to go. After taking a measurement of my blood pressure, I can see charts of my BP and pulse over time.

A friend of mine owns the Withings scale, which measures weight as well as lean and fat mass. It automatically detects up to eight different users (fun for the whole family!) and then sends the data via WiFi to your computer, Android phone, or iPhone.

The only downside to these devices is that you have to pay for the elegant design and first-rate performance; they're in fact more expensive than the basic and boring alternatives. So for me, while the Withings scale is very nice, the inexpensive drugstore version I have seems to work just fine.

Company: Withings
Platforms: Scale (computer, iPhone, Android); Blood pressure monitor (iPhone)
Price: Scale: $159; Blood pressure monitor: $129

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why I Love Tonic: Julie Desch, Palo Alto, California

I'm 50 years old with cystic fibrosis (CF). A lot has been discovered lately to help people with CF, and I benefit from much of it. The problem is that it seems the more that is discovered, the more there is to remember to do. New medications, new types of treatments, more emphasis on exercise, more aggressive treatment of lung infections with IV all takes time! Add normal activities of life to this, and chaos easily ensues. Serious organization is required, and Tonic fits the bill. Cystic fibrosis is not an easy illness to live with, but Tonic makes it more manageable. -- Julie Desch, Palo Alto, California

Monday, October 3, 2011

Meet Tonic's Creator: Rajiv Mehta

If you've been in an app store lately - whether Apple or Droid - you know there's no shortage of apps for your health. So it takes something pretty special to stand out among the thousands. That's what Rajiv Mehta has achieved in creating the Tonic self-care app, which has been recognized in MIT's Technology Review, Shape magazine, and as winner of the “Best Mobile Health Solution for Behavior Change” at this year's Mobile Health 2011 conference. Raj's earlier work has also been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal.

Here's a short Q&A with Raj about how Tonic came to be, and what it aims to do:

Q: There are so many apps out there, and, as you know, a rapidly growing number of health-related apps: Why did you create Tonic - what was missing in the marketplace?

Rajiv Mehta: Most health apps provide content. Of the rest, those that do support reminders or tracking are invariably narrowly focused; they just focus on diabetes, or medications, or pain, for instance. In contrast, Tonic helps you remember and record all of your health activities. No other app that I know of provides the flexibility necessary to support real-world health. In the real world, we often have multiple conditions and varied activities (medications, diet, exercise, etc.) Only Tonic supports all of this.

Q: Why did you choose the name Tonic?

Raj: Tonic has many good attributes for a name. It’s evocative, something that is uplifting and invigorating. It has a nice sound, and feels good as you say it. It is also memorable, and different from the thousands of prosaically-named health and wellness apps.

Q: If you could tell people using this app one thing, what would it be?

Raj: Make full use of Tonic’s flexibility to support your life. Remember that while you’re using it for ongoing, chronic health issues, it can also support you in managing temporary problems like colds, flus, and sprained ankles. One user told me today that she even uses Tonic to track her car mileage along with her meds!

Q: As you know, a tonic is something that enhances your vigor or well-being - Tell us: What's your Tonic?

Raj: A game of Ticket To Ride with the family. This is a fantastic board game where you compete to complete the most and longest train routes.